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Archive for April, 2012

We visited Jupiter Artland to test the new recorded descriptive tour before it opens to the public in May.  Diana, the education officer, recorded the tour following live tests with Artlink members last year.  Diana quite naturally described works, with some lovely visceral comaprisons.  She describes Anish Kappor’s Suck as the feeling you get when your heel catches in the bath plug as the water drains away.

On this tour we used Artlink’s portable FM loop system to broadcast the tour.  I held and controlled the only MP3 player and everyone listening had a receiver.  A simple box with a volume control, easy to use and no fiddly buttons.  as a group we walked round the artworks and listened to the recording.  this helped us focus on the content rather than the recording.

The tour will be available on handsets along with information from the artists and fictional stories by children in response to the artworks.  Hope fully the tours will work well for visitors to Jupiter Artland.  Follwoing feedback, the tour will be re-recorded for next year.  The group suggested a few improvements and tweaks but these were described as minor.

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MP3 players

MP3 players, which i thought might by a bit fiddly, failed to work taking up a lot of time and causing frustration.  As a result I didn’t properly explain the contaent and there was confusion as to when to stop listening.  We didn’t listen as a group but individually at different times.  In future leader should be seperate role from dealing with anything technical, this way delivery should be less affected by any hitches.

The next event at Jupiter Artland is also with MP3 players, so a chance to try to make this run smoothly.  Next time – better explanations, have all the same players, use splitter cable for headphones so 2 people can share and listen together.  It would also be easier to use MP3 players with screens so its easy to check whats going on.  the players used by Poor Boy had a hold feature, allowing only volume control, which ws useful.

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A cold and windy day at Cramond to listen to site specific sound and fiction pieces on Mp3 playres.  The sounds sparked some memories but we were too uncomfortable to listen carefully.

We abandoned the walk early and headed for welcome hot drinks.  We discussed the possibility of having sound equipment that would enable everyone to listen to same thing t same time with a central control.  Perhaps using the fm loop or ADA hire equipment.  However we decided if its a group experience, it may be best to have a live guide.  Not only is this easier but there is also more discussion, it is more direct and lively.  A recorded tour would have benefits as it would be flexible, enabling people to listen at convenience.  However best suited to 1or 2 people together.  Simple equipment, keeping hands free would be best such as the Playbutton.

“One of life’s good little experiments”

We have been working on this project for some time now.  This trip didn’t go to plan but it felt that we were trying something together that was part of an exploration, developing ideas for the project.  This realisation felt positive about the project and everyone’s involvement.

Things going wrong produced useful learning points, we realised the decisions we need to make and people offered to take more responsibility, such as bringing their own equipment.

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you need a destination but be flexible about how you get there

you need a leader but open and encouraging input

take time to understand different perspectives and notice the overlooked

the destination is not an end point but a pause, time to reflect, share and discuss

each walk is part of a longer jouney, drifting may happen between these

there are different ways to take part and influence

A quote from Jerom Bruner that for me sums up the afternoon:

“There is something antic about creating although the enterprise by serious.”

Bruner defines creativity as an act that produces effective surprise.

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